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which PEN should I get

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Idreamphoto, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Idreamphoto

    Idreamphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 1, 2012
    Hi all,
    I am a happy owner of om-d and was experimenting a lot already with the kit-lens.
    I am seriously considering the Olympus 45mm, because I love portrait. When combining with street photography, obviously it is not time reasonable to swap lenses on the street.
    So I would like to invest on a PEN with the 45mm attached and ready in case that a portrait opportunity happens, the rest of the time, I will continue to use the omd with kit lens to document street life.

    Now, the question is which Pen should I buy? EP1,EP2, EP3, EPL3,EPM2? I am a bit confused. E-PL5 is of course absolutely fantastic, but it is definitely to expensive for my budget, I would like to stay under 400 USD.
    Thank you for sharing your advises
  2. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord Subscribing Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    e-pm2 for the sensor alone... but personally, if i had an om-d and looking for a back up PEN, i'd get the e-p3.
  3. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I'd think you'd be disappointed now with any sensor inferior to OMD so maybe you should wait until prices for the EPM2 drop a little to that level.
  4. Idreamphoto

    Idreamphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 1, 2012
    ok, thanks for your first feedback, For sure, EPM2 and EPL3 would be the be option considering the quality of sensor (since I have the om-d). Unfotunately, there are really above my budget.
    I can easily find EPL3, EPL1 or EP1 body on ebay around 300 USD. Do you really think I could be dissapointed with the quality of the image?
    Currently,my preference goes to EPL3 from price and sensor point of view.
  5. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Adubo, I'm in a similar boat, could you explain your recommendation? Why would you get the e-p3 if you had an OM-D, but buy an e-pm2 if not?
    • Like Like x 1
  6. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Lucille Sanchez
    a refurb e-pl1 can be had very cheap from Cameta Camera, and produces some very sharp and colorful jpegs.

    It is a lean, mean, picture taking machine.

    a deadly combo when mated with the cheap but ultra sharp P14mm f/2.5.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  7. redington

    redington Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 28, 2012
    Refurb epm1's can be found dirt cheap, too. AF will be faster than on the epl1. I like mine, but really lust for the epl5 or epm2.

    I think the prices on the epm1 make it hard to pass up as a backup.
  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Yeah, I picked up a cheap E-PM1 body. It's pretty nice, especially for $200.
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Yeah, I picked up a cheap E-PM1 body. It's pretty nice, especially for $200. Point being, you can take nice shots with some of these "bargain" bodies and save the money for lenses.
  10. Idreamphoto

    Idreamphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 1, 2012
    Thank you all for your input.
    Now, I need help to decide between E-P2 and E-PL3. Almost at the same price on eBay.
    My important criterias are:
    - Fast focus
    - ISO capabilities
  11. Jimbo3rd

    Jimbo3rd Photog GoGo

    Mar 10, 2011
    Central Florida/Disney area
    Jim Sullivan
    Have a E-P2 (1710 actuations) with VF-2 that I will put up shortly. If interested, PM me and I will give more info. Looks and works like new.
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Without a doubt the E-PL3. The E-P2 has a strong AA Filter and the imaging system is quite different. The images are softer and not crisp and sharp like your E-M5 or any Oly camera newer than the E-PL1 (including the E-5 pro-grade DSLR). The older cameras like the E-P2 can suffer from chroma and luma noise at high ISO, which the E-PL1 and newer cameras do not. It also has much slower CDAF autofocus, which was not improved significantly until the E-PL2. Plus, the ultra-slim Mini and Lite cameras (E-PM1, E-PL3, E-PM2, and E-PL5) make perfect companions to the OM-D line, letting you choose between full-featured or ultra-light.

    You will find the imaging and performance capabilities of the E-PL3 to be very similar to the E-M5. The E-M5 gets raved about a lot but it's really only a step above the previous generation. The previous generation however was a big step from the generation before it, which was a big step in performance from the generation before it - which was the E-P2.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Here's a quick rundown of basic generations of Pen cameras...

    1st Generation Pens:
    E-P1 - The original. Incredible camera for its time, but compared to today's cameras (only a few years later) it's slow, soft, and noisy... and doesn't allow for an EVF or external mic. Aesthetically it is still the most beautiful in my eyes, lol.
    E-P2 - Same as the E-P1 except for the addition of an accessory port for EVF and mic. Also known as "The E-P1 done right".

    2nd Generation Pens:
    E-PL1 - Greatly improved imaging with a very light AA Filter. This camera was the testing ground for the imaging system later introduced and marketed for the pro-grade E-5. The controls are dumbed down though (it doesn't even have a single wheel), the max shutter speed is halved, and it has the smallest LCD ever put into a Pen. It did introduce a more efficient button system though, as well as a built-in Remote Flash Commander.
    E-PL2 - "The E-PL1 done right." LCD resolution is doubled and returned to the original 3" size, autofocus is significantly improved, a turn wheel is brought back, and the shutter speed limit is lifted (albeit with a higher minimum ISO). Same great imaging qualities as the E-PL1. Handles high ISO much better with cleaner noise and resistance to chroma and luma noise.

    3rd Generation Pens:
    E-PM1, E-PL3, E-P3 - The Mini introduced the new ultra-slim body design which is now standard on both Mini and Lite models. The E-P3 took the best of both E-Px and E-PLx designs and put it into one. It is essentially the ultimate final form of the old generation lines. All of the 3rd generation cameras offer a new incredible Auto White Balance system unlike any seen before in a digital camera. The same high LCD resolution (for a Live View camera - the E-5's LCD is doubled yet again) introduced with the E-PL2, but now in 16:9 format with the Mini and Lite, and 4:3 Touchscreen in the E-P3.

    1st Generation OM-D:
    E-M5 - Brand new 16MP Sony sensor which is better than ever. Still has the same ultra-weak AA filter to go with it. Plus, 5-axis image stabilization, weather sealing, dual finger/thumb dials (the E-Px line had dual dials too, but both on the back of the camera which is not as efficient), built-in EVF, battery grip option, and more...

    4th Generation Pens:
    E-PM2, E-PL5 - Like the 3rd Generation Mini and Lite but with the 16MP sensor of the E-M5 and a 3-axis IS system.
    • Like Like x 3
  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Another thought ... I shoot with two cameras and I find it much easier, desirable and 'faster' to shoot with identical cameras ... more instinctive/reactionary with less thought required or given to location of buttons, menus and settings (even the on-off switch are in different places).

    Granted it is nice to have a quasi-rangefinder looking camera, but looks do not capture images.

    ... just saying.

  15. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    For quick fast street shooting, yes the EPM1 with the 45mm will focus faster than the EPL1, but I think the difference is less than a half second. I own both bodies and that lens, and would have to put them on a high speed camera to tell exactly.

    For image quality, no matter what the specs say, in real life they are about the same at both low and high ISO. Some people don't trust IBIS on the EPM1, but I don't see a problem with mine.

    For handling, I've shot 15K images on my EPL1 and am quite familiar with its button interface. SCP is useless on this body w/o a control wheel. The EPM1 works well with SCP, so changing settings is almost as quick as the EM5. However, mode changes are awkward.

    I like the smallness of the EPM1, and often carry it with the EM5.

    In the USA, you're looking at $330 for a refurb 45mm (or an import via ebay), and $129 for the EPL1 or $179 for the EPM1 vis cameta's refurb shop. Maybe a 19mm sigma or a 14mm panasonic makes more sense?

  16. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord Subscribing Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    The epm2 is an upgrade from anything lower than the em5, Sensor wise. thats more practical in a tech/future proof stand point. Id go with the ep3 if i had the omd since i have that (omd) for low light and at base iso, ep3's images arent too shabby (i still use an epl2 and ep1 and i use it @ iso1600 most of the time)

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
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